If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, youâ€™ll know that I recently took up hot yoga. And if you ever want to see me at my worst, come to hot yoga and witness me upside down in downward-dog position with sweat dripping staccato-like onto my mat.
But I love it, even the weird â€œNamasteâ€ and â€œinward eyeâ€ crap. I never feel as good as I do when I leave a yoga class.
When I found out Iâ€™d be doing heli-yoga in Alberta, I was pumped. Ecstatic. â€œHeli-yoga?â€ everyone asked in bewilderment. â€œLike, yoga in a helicopter?â€
No. Heli-yoga means you take a helicopter into the mountains for a yoga session in the middle of nature. People do that. Heli-yoga is real.
(I apologize in advance for the douchy “yoga poses in nature” photos I’ll be sharing within this post. While wearing sneakers. But I was actually doing a yoga session, and didn’t have much time before the helicopter returned. Seriously.)
I headed out to Kananaskis County with my Canada Keep Exploring group to meet Martha of Marthaâ€™s Heli-Hikes. Not having been in a helicopter since I was about 10 years old, I freaked out a little. And Tweeted about it. From the helicopter.
We flew for about 15 minutes before reaching a clearing in the mountains.
Very few moments in my life have I experienced such silence, especially in the tourist-laden areas of the Rockies. Far way from the hum of electricity and the chaos of traffic, and the kind of sounds that eventually become white noise.
For the others in the group, this was their first yoga experience. We stretched out mats on the bumpy ground and sat silently until Martha began her instruction. An occasional insect buzzed by my head, and birds chirped from the forest. We were stiff and achy from canoeing and biking and flying, and so Martha led us through some stretching exercises to unwind those knots and clear the stress from our heads.
We stretched out in Savasana, Corpse Pose, with the sun beating down on our faces. How can I ever go back to yoga in a studio?
We finished it all by sharing three words about how we were currently feeling. I wanted to say, â€œStretched, sunburned, and awesome.â€ Instead I went with, â€œPeaceful, relaxed, and happy.â€
And then in true blogger form, we all pulled out our phones and started Tweeting.